Joe Biden Plans Papua New Guinea Trip to Promote ‘Inclusive’ Growth as U.S. on Brink of Default

President Joe Biden eats an ice cream cone at a Baskin-Robbins in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

President Joe Biden scheduled a trip to Papua New Guinea later in May to promote “inclusive economic growth” while the United States economy is facing a downturn amid debt default negotiations.

Although recent polling shows Americans are struggling economically, Biden will meet with Prime Minister James Marape of Papua New Guinea to “discuss ways to deepen cooperation on challenges critical to the region and to the United States such as combating climate change, protecting maritime resources, and advancing resilient and inclusive economic growth,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced Tuesday.

Biden’s foreign trip to encourage “inclusive economic growth” comes as 75 percent of Americans believe U.S. economic conditions are getting worse. A CBS News/YouGov poll found 97 percent of Americans say Biden’s sagging economy, a concern that has remained dominant for months, is the top issue of importance.

As soon as June 1, the nation is set to default on the nation’s debt. But the crises could be avoided. Last month, House Republicans passed a bill to raise the debt ceiling and cut wasteful government spending.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has refused to hold a Senate vote on the bill, and the White House has claimed it will not negotiate on raising the debt limit.

Chuck Schumer

Chuck Schumer (D-NY) listens during a press conference following the Democrats Policy Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol building on October 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

When asked if Biden would postpone the foreign trip to deal with the debt ceiling crisis, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that “the president can be a president anywhere… This is something that Congress can take care of today.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Biden will meet with Congress to have a “conversation” on the House Republican bill. “The president hopes it’s a productive conversation,” she said about the summit.

“The Republicans are holding the entire Republican economy hostage,” she continued. “We are not going to get into a back and forth on what a fair deal looks like.”

“The president is not ignoring the problem,” she added. “We have the four leaders who are going to be here today at 4 o’clock to have this conversation.”

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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